Epidemiology of HIV, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Viral Hepatitis, and Tuberculosis Among Incarcerated Transgender People: A Case of Limited Data.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Systematic Review)

Transgender people experience a disproportionate burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and incarceration. Discrimination, victimization, poverty, and poor mental health drive vulnerability to HIV and related infections, as well as risk of arrest, detention, and incarceration. In this paper, we systematically review published data on HIV, sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis, and tuberculosis among incarcerated transgender people; describe potential structural determinants of HIV risk and transmission; identify gaps in the literature; and make recommendations for research and interventions to address this neglected population. We found that HIV and related infections among incarcerated transgender people have received little attention in the epidemiologic literature. The limited data available, which date from 1992, demonstrate high prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections in this population internationally. Transgender people who had not had genital surgery were typically placed in jails and prisons corresponding to birth-assigned sex rather than gender identity. Once incarcerated, they routinely faced harassment, physical abuse, and sexual violence from inmates and staff and denial of access to medically necessary gender-affirming therapies. More HIV research with incarcerated transgender populations is urgently needed to inform correctional policy change that centers human rights and structural interventions, such as stigma reduction, pre-arrest diversion, and access to HIV prevention methods and gender-affirming care during incarceration.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Poteat, TC; Malik, M; Beyrer, C

Published Date

  • June 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 40 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 27 - 39

PubMed ID

  • 29554240

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC5982724

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1478-6729

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/epirev/mxx012


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States